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The GIS Community Has Spoken

The GIS community has spoken on the current solutions available in the industry and (spoiler alert) the feedback is not good.  A recent market research survey of 50+ GIS firms from random countries conducted by Systemapic (in anticipation of our approaching Beta) has proved quite revealing.  Lets get down to the nitty gritty and hear what GIS professionals are saying about the current offerings on the market.


Out of survey respondents it is no surprise that 75% are using ESRI products, as the California-based giant has commanded market share for decades.  QGIS, Norkart, FME and Open Source softwares are all used by less than 10% of the GIS professionals that we spoke with.  Systemapic CEO Jørgen Ekvoll is wary of the effects of this dominance, saying:Most of the GIS giants were born in the 60’s and have dominated the market since. But over the last few years we’ve seen a new generation of web-GIS solutions emerging. Now it’s time to take that trend one step further, and offer the GIS industry the cloud of their dreams.”


When it comes to sharing data the GIS industry’s current solutions offer little in the way of efficiency and features.  It seems that time and money are being wasted consistently by clients and GIS consultancy groups alike.  When it comes to moving data from point A to point B for delivery, for example:

42% of respondents are using Dropbox

47% are creating pdfs

33% are exporting jpegs

56% are using a shared database

0% are sharing within the product itself

Simply taking screen-captures is frighteningly common for any industry as we move into 2016 but it is extra-prevalent in GIS it appears.  With most respondents reporting GB per project far higher than easily transferable on Dropbox and Google Drive (with many in the hundreds of GB or multi-TB range) this imposes challenges.  The outdated sharing methods provide challenges.  Especially since GIS professionals reported working on projects with 11.5 other individuals on average.  Imagine the unnecessary complexity and room for error.  On the innovation that Systemapic is making in regards to sharing and collaboration, two key priorities for us, CTO Knut Ole Sjøli says: “There’s obviously a huge bottle-neck for GIS professionals when it comes to sharing big data. Our cloud solutions handles terabytes seamlessly, and we’re very excited to bridge the data gap for our clients.”


Further confusion stems from the plethora of file formats used by different softwares in the industry.  Out of all respondents no two reported using the same combination of file types.  This is not a surprise, as there are almost a countless number of file formats out there in GIS, but it speaks volumes about the need to create software solutions to more easily navigate this ocean of options.

When it comes to verbatim it is no surprise that respondents comments reflect frustration with the current offering.  They are simply not good enough given their dominance.  Time and money are consistently wasted because of lack of innovation along fronts that Systemapic believes progress can be made on.  Multiple respondents complained about the impossibility of working with large datasets, highlighting primarily processing speed and time-consuming share-options.  With Systemapic your work is done on the cloud.  Problem solved.  Also no surprise that GIS professionals reported having challenges with lack of staff time/resources given the time investment necessary with current solutions.  The sharing and collaborative nature of Systemapic’s cloud-based software allows projects that previously took months to take days or even hours.  Other challenges reported include waiting for client feedback, data access, data tailoring and requirement of programming skills.  Done, done, and done.  

It is clear the GIS industry is in need of innovation and we’re happy to be the driving force here.  Join our beta to help us make Systemapic better and better, and stay tuned for more updates.

Happy mapping!

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